Nagoonberry

This world. This place. This life.

Unitarian Universalism: a saving message

6 Comments

Here’s another take on the core beliefs of Unitarian Universalism––the inspiration for yesterday’s post, actually.  Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Unitarian Universalism: a saving message

  1. Pretty much sounds like bafflegab to me…

    • Hi, Uncle Wayne. Glad you stopped by!

      Sometimes it can seem like people from different religious communities are speaking another language–or at least using our common language very, very differently.

  2. I’m curious to hear what you mean by “bafflegab,” Wayne.

  3. “Each of us is elected.” This language hearkens back to Calvinism, the universalizing of election being the ancient heritage passed down by our Christian Universalist forebears in soteriological doctrines long since outdated except in the most general sense of “There ain’t no hell.” “Election” is tied to long irrelevant disputes about who’s in and who’s out. It has no meaning for me, a 21st-century humanist. Elected to what? Salvation must be here and now. We get it, when we get it, through this-worldly actions of our own and of others in a mishmash we only imagine we have some control over. Salvation is systemic and incremental and partial and tenuous.

    “All of us are loved beyond belief.” By whom? The universe? The universe loves us the way it loves a single quark. Its “love” does not make reality any easier for us nor any easier to bear. It is the system we are part of. The only sense I can get from this assertion would have to be based in a theistic assumption – someone else’s theology, not mine. Communities of faith certainly don’t love those who need concrete examples of love “beyond belief” – even when they are engaged in good works.

    “No one is left behind.” By whom? On the path toward what? Because I look around and I see countless people left behind. More left behind than are lifted up and shown their inherent worth and dignity. It may be an ideal, something to shoot toward. But it expresses only a hope, not a reality.

    So do Bucky and Robin (our film narrators) intend to say that everyone has inherent worth and deserves dignity, that we are called as people of faith and faithful congregations to love and promote that reality in everyone and to love everyone because of that reality, and that we are required by our faith not to let anyone slip through the cracks but to ensure that all live a life of dignity? If that’s what they mean, I agree with them..

    • Hi, Paul. I hear in this video language that I can interpret in a way that’s meaningful to me, but I also recognize that the language has other interpretations, some of which I reject. I wonder if this is a way forward for UUs–common language that’s open to multiple interpretations. I keep thinking of the image of a coloring book. Yes, the outlines are there, but each colorer personalizes the image.

      • Well, I do sometimes say I believe in original sin – as a starting point for explaining how what I mean fits the phrase without resembling in the least the Church’s definition of the term.

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